Curd Rice: A Soothing Delight

Creamy Delight: Luscious Curd Rice with a Touch of Zing

You might be initially surprised by the concept of yogurt rice; however, rest assured that this comforting dish is a culinary gem when it comes to craving something light yet utterly enchanting. As a preferred cuisine amongst Indians ,particularly those from the southern regions, this delightful meal truly shines during the warm embrace of summer.

What is Curd Rice?

Introducing Curd Rice: a delightfully creamy and sumptuous South Indian rice dish that will warm your heart and soothe your senses. At its core, Curd Rice is a beautiful mingling of yogurt (in India, yogurt is called curd), with cooked rice and expertly tempered seasonings. Known as Thayir Sadam, Daddojanam, or Bagala Bath in various South Indian languages, it also acts as a digestive aid and serves as an excellent food choice for travel, a light lunch or a quick snack.

  • Bask in the soothing embrace of Curd Rice—a heavenly blend of yogurt, rice, an exciting herb called curry leaves, and spices that leaves a lasting impression. It’s astonishing how a handful of simple ingredients can come together to craft a meal that’s brimming with flavor and satisfaction.

Health Benefits of Curd Rice

Curd Rice is not just a delightful dish, but it also comes with a plethora of health benefits, such as:

Digestive qualities: curd rice invigorates the perfect home remedy for an unsettled stomach, as it alleviates bloating and indigestion while being easy to digest.

Rich in probiotics, it nurtures a healthy balance of gut-friendly bacteria, thereby fostering better digestive health.

Maintaining the body’s internal temperature, providing a cooling respite on sweltering summer days.

Curd Rice is a truly comforting meal that you shouldn’t pass up if you haven’t yet experienced it. While each family in India may have their own version of this classic dish, the recipe I’m sharing today reflects how I personally create my Curd Rice masterpiece.

Ingredients At A Glance 

Ingredients

Rice – I like to make curd rice using parboiled rice called Sona Masuri. Parboiled rice is pre-boiled rice and is easily available online or in Indian grocery stores. I have also used Basmati rice, brown rice, quinoa, and cauliflower rice to make this curd rice recipe. The important thing to remember is that you use cooked rice to make this dish.

Curd or Yogurt – Use full-fat or low-fat yogurt for the most creamy flavor.

Tempering – Oh, the magic of tempering! As an Indian food aficionado, let me let you in on this delightful culinary secret. Hailing from the vibrant culture of India, tempering is that little spark that elevates our dishes to a whole new level. Picture this: whole spices dancing in a pool of hot oil or ghee, releasing their enticing essential oils, mingling with other spicy sidekicks like dried chilies, minced ginger root, or even a pinch of sugar. This whirlwind of flavors is then lovingly introduced to the main dish, infusing it with an enchanting bouquet of tantalizing aromas and taste sensations. Trust me, once you’ve tried this technique, there’s no turning back!

For Curd Rice what spices are used for tempering?

For tempering, I have used .ginger, curry leaves, black mustard seeds, green chilies (optional), dried red chilies (optional), asafoetida, split urad dal (optional), and chana dal, split pea lentil (optional)

Oil – Any kind of neutral oil, I use Avocado oil.

The main ingredients would be mustard seeds, curry leaves, ginger and yogurt in this curd rice recipe. If youc an handle heat, then add the chillies. The lentils add a lovely texture and interesting crunch.

How Do I Prepare Curd Rice?

Heat the oil in a large pan and then when the oil is hot add the red chilies, mustard seeds, asafoetida, urad and chana dal, curry leaves, and green chilies. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for a minute. The mustard seeds will crackle. Be careful as they pop out, keep a splatter screen ready.

Once the crackling has subsided, add in the ginger and saute for a few seconds or until aromatic. Reduce the heat to low and add in the boiled rice. 

In a separate bowl, beat the yogurt with the water to form a slightly thin consistency. Season it with salt.  Taste and check for your preference.

Turn off the heat, pour the yogurt over the rice, and mix thoroughly. Cover and set aside to allow the aroma and spices to mix for a few minutes and then enjoy.

Tips For Preparing Curd Rice 

Brined yogurt-covered red chilies are the classic red chilies used for yogurt rice. They are widely available in India but may not always be available in other countries, but I can obtain them here in the United States, where I live. To make things simple, I would recommend using simple dried red chiles instead, which work just as well. You can find these in any Indian grocery store or online.

Curd rice also tastes nice cold, so you may eat it straight from the fridge after saving the leftovers. If you don’t want to eat cold food, bring it to room temperature – do not heat it as the yogurt might curdle.

What is the purpose of the two types of lentils?

Split urad dal which is white and easily available in Indian stores and online, imparts a nutty flavor when roasted in oil and also a lovely crunch.

Same for the chana dal (split pea lentil). Adding these lentils is fully optional. The only thing that you cannot omit is the fresh curry leaves.

Where can I find curry leaves?

Curry leaf is an aromatic herb widely used in South Indian cooking. It is only found in Indian grocery stores. No South Indian dish can be cooked without this herb. In India, people grow their own pots of curry leaves often so they never run out.

What exactly is Asafoedita and why use it?

Asafoetida, also known as “hing,” is a dried sap or gum resin extracted from the roots of Ferula plants, related to fennel. Popular in Indian cooking for its unique flavor and aroma, asafoetida is typically found as a coarse, yellow powder. When cooked, it imparts a flavor similar to onions, leeks, and garlic. Beware—a pinch is plenty as excessive use may impart bitterness!

Although the spice is best known for its pungent odor, it’s also a good source of antioxidants and has been used for centuries for its potential health benefits, particularly in aiding digestion and reducing symptoms of IBS. So, if you’re looking to add some of this “hing” charm to your culinary cre ations, rest assured that you’re not only in for a flavor sensation but also a potential health boost!

The Fascinating Heritage of Asafoetida (Hing)

In 19th century Bengal, a state in India, widows were forbidden from consuming onions, garlic, and meat to curb their libido. This led to hing’s popularity as a flavorsome alternative. Similarly, Jains, who avoid onions and garlic, also embrace hing in their culinary creations. Hing’s medicinal properties trace back to its use in ancient Greece for indigestion relief, while Romans prized it for its contraceptive abilities. Intriguingly, hing seeds resemble hearts, potentially inspiring the now unmistakable heart symbol.

Hing is found outside of India in some Middle Eastern dishes and surprisingly in a Western sauce, namely Worcestershire sauce.

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Curd Rice


  • Author: Mish
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x

Description

Curd Rice is a delightful symphony of flavors where fluffy rice meets tangy curd, creating a comforting and refreshing sensation to your plate.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups cooked rice, any variety
  • 1 tablespoon fine chopped ginger
  • 10 curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 green chilies, chopped fine (optional)
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida powder (hing)
  • 1 teaspoon salt ( or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal ( Urad lentils)
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal ( split pea lentils)
  • 3 cups plain yogurt or curd + 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoon neutral oil

Instructions

  1. In a wide pan heat the oil and when hot put in the red chilies, asafoetida, urad and chana dals, curry leaves and the green chilies. Reduce heat to medium low. Saute for a minute. The mustard seeds will pop.
  2. Add the ginger and saute a few seconds till aromatic.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add the boiled rice and mix well.
  4. Beat the yogurt well ( with the water) and add salt.
  5. Turn off the heat and pour the yogurt over the rice and mix well.
  6. Cover and keep for the aroma and spices to blend well and serve.

Notes

  • The traditional red chilies used for yogurt rice are brined yogurt covered chilies. They are easily available in India but may not always be available in other countries although I do get it here in the US where I live. So substitute plain dried red chilies which work as well.
  • Also curd rice tastes good cold too so you can have it straight from the fridge after you save the leftovers. If you do not want to eat cold food just bring it to room temperature rather than heating as the yogurt may split.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
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